Friday, June 2, 2017

Energy supply chain, electric vs liquid

Storage of electric fuel in the can cost,  after netting out the combustion weight, is about 3 to 5 hundred pounds.
30% of driving is night. The electric fuel station has batteries, equal to the battery weight of 30% of the electric customers. Liquid storage is trivial.
Delivery is electric vs pipe, call that break even.

Solar efficiency, liquid at 5% electric at 20%. Big advantage to electric? No, the total land area needed is small, ( a couple of lake meades does it for the USA) and we can use nearby ocean for either.

Conversion efficiency? Solar folks say the current input to solar panels is small, and fixed.  Liquid right now is barely neutral. So biofuel is mostly carbon neutral, as it needs fertilizer  and minerals.  But, on the margin, today, the electricity is about neutral, or not much better.

Here is the big but, liquid bio fuel farms on the oceans breathe CO2, great news to us all.  We have the capacity to alter the release sequence.  We can, as technology moves, drive down the cost of altering CO2 flow, to the positive.  Say we develop fusion, and with a bit of tax, we tilt the balance toward carbon storage, in liquid or solid form; extracted from the atmosphere.  Control the flow of carbon, equatorial nations build the earths lungs. Charge the north a fee to withdraw carbon.

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